Reversible USB connector pictured: is this the future for smartphones?

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Especially if you’re not an Apple user, it sure is easy to find fault with the company’s Lightning connector: it’s an unneeded proprietary design, it breaks compatibility with existing accessories, and cables supporting it can be damn expensive – we’ve heard all the complaints. But for whatever issues you may have, it’s hard to deny the utility of Lightning’s most compelling feature, the ability to attach the connector without regard for its orientation: it works just as well right side up as upside down. Back in December we heard about an effort to bring a cable that works in a similar manner to smartphones everywhere, by means of a new USB standard – the Type-C connector set to arrive as part of USB 3.1. Back then it was just an idea, but today we get our first look at how a Type-C setup might actually appear.

As you can see here, the design is likely to keep the same general size as micro USB, though presenting a much more rounded-off port than the trapezoidal shape we have now. A shape with symmetry like this is critical to the reversible nature of the connector.

The other big change – and one we heard about back in December – is that these cable will feature the same Type-C interface at each end. Instead of USB cords with one big end and one little end, they’ll be direction ambivalent, with the same tiny Type-C cable on both ends. The combination of this decision along with the design of the connector itself sets us up for a future where we really won’t have to pay attention to USB cables at all – just pick them up, plug them in, and they’ll just work.

Mind you, this design isn’t set in stone, but we’re hoping to see the connector standardized within the next few months.

usb-31-port

Source: USB Implementers Forum
Via: Android Central

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!